Located in the Schwartzwald, or Black Forrest, in southwest Germany close to the French border, Freiburg is normally referred to as a college town. That has not stopped Christian Streich, who after taking over in December in 2011, who directly led Freiburg out of the relegation places and has remained as the manager in charge - and has stayed in charge, making him currently the longest serving manager in the Bundesliga.
On top of riding out the rather volatile Bundesliga, Streich has done so with some of the most impressive circumstances, as Freiburg had a modest average wage of $590,000 last season, which was the second lowest in the Bundesliga, according to Statista. That is compared to the more impressive wages of Bayern ($8.36m), BVB ($4.22m), and Leverkusen ($2.92m). Streich even managed to bring the the side into Europe during an impressive 2013 campaign, while safely bringing them back into the Bundesliga after a year long absence in 2016. The former SC Freiburg player himself even denounced any touted interest from the media in the Bayern job before Nico Kovac’s appointment.
Lost in the 2nd round to Holstein Kiel
Woo-yeong Jeong (RW) - Bayern München II - $5.13m
Jonathan Schmid (RB) - Augsburg - $4.56m
Chang-hun Kwon (RW) - Dijon - $3.42m
Luca Itter (LB) - Wolfsburg - $2.85m
Florian Niederlecher (CF) - Augsburg - $2.85m
Vincent Sierro (CM) - Young Boys - $1.71m
Jonas Föhrenbach (LB) - Heidenheim - $570k
Fabian Schleusener (CF) - Nuremberg - $513k
Pascal Stenzel (RB) - Stuttgart - loan
Some of the names that stand out are Luca Itter and Jonathan Schmid. Look out for these fullbacks to be a vital part in Streich’s young, attacking side. Streich is often recognized for attempting to get the most out of his sides, combining intensity and passion with an attacking flair - attempting to outrun all sides they play against while bringing attacking football to the opponent.
What to Expect:
Attacking football with a small budget all packaged by a more lovable and hipster coach than Eddie Howe. With Grifo back to Hoffenheim on his loan to Freiburg, expect Streich to build a solid attack with Nils Petersen, Luca Waldschmidt and attacking fullbacks in Itter, Günter and Schmid. Robin Koch might just be emerging as the next prospect to emerge from Freiburg, and expect a solid defensive line to be lead by the young center back.
14th place, Freiburg is a solid side, and refuses to play an overly defensive style. Attacking flair and pressing will be enough to keep the side from relegation by a reasonable margin, again.